Every boat on the nationally ranked No. 5 lightweight crew team has something extra to race for Saturday: the inaugural Vogel Cup.

This year’s HYP regatta features the first Vogel Cup, named in honor of Dave Vogel ’71 — a longtime Yale lightweight and heavyweight oarsman and coach. The Vogel Cup will be awarded to the team scoring the most points over all five races at Yale’s home course in Derby.

The Elis also will battle No. 2 Princeton and No. 4 Harvard to retain possession of the Goldthwait Cup, awarded to the winning varsity boat.

Last Saturday, Yale swept all five races from Dartmouth and Rutgers to claim the Durand Cup in New Brunswick, N.J.

“[HYP is] arguably one of college rowing’s greatest regular season races in terms of history, competitiveness between the crews, and depth of competition,” coach Andy Card said. “And, the 2003 version should be no different.”

But Card also called the HYP “the most important meaningless race for my guys.” Regardless of outcome, Yale, Harvard and Princeton will compete in the conference championship race.

Since each varsity crew enters the race with one defeat, the regatta takes on increased significance for seeding at the Eastern Sprints.

Captain Ben Hamilton ’03 said the race carries special meaning for the team’s seniors as their last Derby race.

Men’s heavyweight crew

Following a stirring come-from-behind victory over Penn last weekend, the No. 9 heavyweight crew team heads to Ithaca, N.Y., to compete for the Carnegie Cup tomorrow against No. 6 Cornell and No. 7 Princeton.

“Princeton and Cornell have put out some really fast boats in the last few years, and this year is no exception,” captain Sam Limmer ’03 said. “Overall, we feel good about our progress, but hope to gain a lot more speed.”

With the Eastern Sprints two weeks away, every race matters for positioning in conference seeding.

“We’ve been working hard this week to tweak our race plan and find some more speed, and are looking forward to a challenging race this weekend,” Andrew Brennan ’04 said. “We’ve got nothing to lose.”

Women’s crew

Though the women’s crew team lost four of six races to a very talented Princeton squad at the Eisenberg Cup in Derby Saturday, it remains excited about the rest of the spring season.

“We did a lot of things right in our races, but we didn’t cross the line first,” captain Melissa Merritt ’03 said.

Tomorrow, the team heads to Cambridge, Mass., to compete for the Case Cup against Radcliffe and the University of Virginia.

“We’re looking to improve upon what we did last weekend and be more aggressive,” Merritt said. “We’re right where we want to be at this point in the season.”